Teachers and educators and every grade level know the importance of incorporating construction toys into the learning experience. Colleges and universities utilize K'NEX in their engineering programs. Early childhood educators use simpler building sets to reinforce fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination and problem solving skills. Visit the K'NEXEducation.com website to review the educational resources that are available for every age group.
No matter the age, construction toys encourage the development and use of critical thinking skills. These skills are extremely important in today's manufacturing environment. The introduction of robotics and highly sophisticated production techniques require a higher degree of training and education. Unfortunately, many American Manufacturers are finding it difficult to fill these jobs.
Deloitte Consulting, LLC and the Manufacturing Institute conducted a Skill Gap survey in 2011 that underscored this urgent issue. According to the study, companies are experiencing the greatest worker shortages in the areas of skilled manufacturing (machinists, operators and technicians) and production support (engineers, planners). Many jobs go unfilled for several months as companies try to develop these skills in-house.
So, how do we solve this issue? The curriculum in schools should encourage children to engage in science and engineering studies. Teachers can increase this interest by making learning interactive. There is no better way to illustrate the fun of STEM than through building something from the ground up. The K'NEX construction system allows students, young and old, to create, explore and build on the critical thinking skills so important in today's job market.
You can find many examples of projects created by students using K'NEX. Here is a video titled " What happens when you have engineers, K'NEX and an electric whisk?" that demonstrates a finished construction project in action.